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Toyota Teases 2018 Camry

Premiers next month at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT, Michigan - Though the American public continues its mass migration to crossover/utility vehicles, midsize sedans still rule the roost at brands like Toyota, which teased us Thursday with a look at the rear quarter-panel and roof sail of the all-new Camry. The 2018 Toyota Camry will be unveiled in January at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Bob Carter said here Thursday.

Carter, who is senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales (Toyota and Lexus) in North America, made another attempt at injecting sizzle into the Toyota brand's bread-and-butter sedan.

"This was a Camry that sent chills up my back," Carter said, describing his first drive of the upcoming eighth-generation model. Though an automotive appliance by our No Boring Cars standard, Toyota has sold 355,204 through November. That's off 9.4 percent versus the first 11 months of 2015, though it's still the brand's bestseller, ahead of Corolla (346,999, up 3.7 percent year-to-date) and RAV4 (314,925, up 11.1 percent year-to-date) and will be its bestseller again for the entire year, Carter predicted.

The Camry also will retain first place among U.S. car sales in calendar 2016, he predicted, or fourth behind the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram pickup trucks. It makes a big contribution to Toyota's bottom line, allowing plenty of capital to build very low-volume, interesting cars, like the Lexus LC 500 that Carter said is set for a Spring 2017 launch. Carter also said that the Toyota CH-R entry-CUV, which was originally intended for Scion will go on sale "later in the summer" of next year.

Toyota Motor Sales has scheduled an unprecedented three press conferences at NAIAS17 in Detroit, Carter said — one for the 2018 Toyota Camry, one for Lexus, and "a technical-based press conference that affects both brands," which hints at a major advancement in Toyota Motors' autonomous development. Media days for NAIAS are January 9 and 10.